If you’re looking for a truly unique holiday, why not plan your trip to coincide with a world-famous event or a one-off occasion. Our Special Departures offer something for everyone, so here are some dates for your diary.

Japan's cherry blossom and Autumn colours

Captured on canvas and within many poems, the beauty of Japan’s cherry blossom is undeniable. If you plan your holiday to coincide with this season, you can appreciate at close hand the delicate pink and white blooms that adorn every tree in sight. Why not join in one of the country’s favourite pastimes, ‘hanami’. This is the traditional custom of enjoying the beauty of the flowers during a picnic or party beneath blossom-laden branches. Autumn visitors will see red, but only in the spectacular colours of the leaves as they change into vibrant hues. Momijigari – or red leaf hunting – is a popular activity at this time.

Whale-watching in South Africa

It’s no coincidence that our South Africa whale-watching departures visit the town of Hermanus. This, according to the World Wildlife Fund, is the one of the best places in the world to see these huge marine mammals in their natural habitat as they come here to mate and calve. You don’t even have to take to the water to see Southern Right Whales as they play. Simply stroll along the Cliff Path, which stretches from one end of the town to the other, from where they can often be seen as close as five metres from the shore.

Pushkar Camel Fair

Livestock, farmers, traders and villagers all converge on the tiny desert town of Pushkar for the annual Pushkar Camel Fair. Why not join them and take in the fascinating, and some would say, peculiar sight of thousands of camels, many adorned in elaborate and colourful decorations, as they are bought, sold, raced and even paraded in beauty contests. As the fair gets in full swing, you’ll also experience plenty of authentic local entertainment as dancers, musicians, acrobats and snake charmers wow the crowds.

Rio Winners Parade 2020

This is not just your chance to experience the world-famous Rio Carnival, but to actually be there when the winning samba schools strut their stuff in outrageous outfits aboard incredible floats. The Winners’ Parade is the hottest ticket in town and your seat in the Sambodromo – a purpose-built stadium – is reserved, so come and join the greatest party in the world.

Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Make sure you pack something purple, green or gold to wear if you join our Mardi Gras departure. Signalling justice, faith and power respectively, everyone joins in during this massive street party in New Orleans that marks the last day of the carnival season. Traditionally, beads and other trinkets are thrown to the crowds, and experienced party-goers take a bag with them to collect all they catch, so take one along too to show you’re in the know.